January 10, 2004

KILROY IS NO LONGER HERE

The BBC has suspended its entire staff because of offensive anti-western commentary. No, wait; thatís wrong. The BBC has suspended one presenter because of offensive anti-Arab commentary:

The Kilroy programme will be taken off air immediately following comments made by Robert Kilroy-Silk in a newspaper article, the BBC has announced.

The presenter branded Arabs "suicide bombers, limb amputators, women repressors" and asked what they had given to the world other than oil.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) described the piece written by the discussion show host in last week's Sunday Express as a "gratuitous anti-Arab rant".

Mr Kilroy-Silk's article included comments saying the toppling of despotic regimes in the Middle East should be a war aim, and questioned the contribution of the Arab nations to world welfare and civilisation.

He said Arabs "murdered more than 3,000 civilians on 11 September" and then "danced in the streets" to celebrate.

Perry de Havilland summarises:

Whilst I found his remarks full of nasty collectivist generalization, many of the points he made about what passes for civilization in the Arab world are simply facts... people do indeed get their limbs chopped off as punishment in Saudi Arabia, women are indeed second class citizens (if they are even citizens at all), human rights are ghastly across a great swathe of the Middle East, the last time the Muslim world was a hive of innovation was in the 12th Century etc. etc... all these things are simply facts.

Yet my point is not to defend Kilroy-Silk, of whom I am not a particular fan but rather to wonder why it is that Robert Fisk and John Pilger can make equally sweeping and egregiously collectivist statements about Israel and the United States without so much as a murmur from the Guardian reading classes?

Sounds about right. Other good points are made by Natalie Solent. Strange thing is, the contentious Kilroy piece was originally run last April:

This is the second time in nine months that the Sunday Express had published the offending article under Kilroy-Silk's name.

It previously appeared on April 6 last year, with a different headline and slightly different editing - and did not attract any complaints.

It is not clear whether the article had been submitted twice or whether it was a production error.

Iím informed that Kilroy emailed the old column by mistake, and nobody at the Sunday Express noticed. Great work. Kilroy has now issued a statement:

It was originally written as a response to the views of opponents to the war in Iraq that Arab States 'loathe' the West and my piece referred to 'Arab States' rather than 'Arabs'.

Out of that context, it has obviously caused great distress and offence and I can only reiterate that I very deeply regret that.

Expect Kilroy to win a British Islamophobia Award. The bar isnít set very high; last year William Hague was nominated for saying this:

I am a friend and supporter of Israel and believe Israel has a vital role to play in the region Ö Israel may sometimes do things that we don't approve of in the West, but the whole point of having the State of Israel is that the Jewish people can have self-determination.

Apparently supporting Israel is Islamophobic. Interesting.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 10, 2004 11:22 AM
Comments

the bbc is so biased it's not funny, and Kilroy apologizing for telling the truth is just as bad.

Posted by: ratso ferrari at January 10, 2004 at 11:41 AM

"Apparently supporting Israel is Islamophobic. Interesting."

Sad, most of all, since it's clear such absolutist positioning is the real extremist "us or them" idiocy, not Bush's "with us or the terrorists" line.

Fine. Let it go on record, then. If they're forcing a choice of saying that Israel has no right to exist and being an "Islamophobe," I choose Islamophobe. I can accept that.

And I daresay a majority of Americans would make the same choice. So, good job on that whole picking sides ploy, you morons.

Posted by: Russell at January 10, 2004 at 12:00 PM

Thanks for the good work in highlighting the disgraceful treatment of Robert Kilroy Silk. Telling the truth is apparantly a "HATE CRIME" now.

Posted by: Ross at January 10, 2004 at 12:14 PM

Gee, the British Islamophobia Awards must of been one hell of a night.

It must of taken ages to read out the nominees given the sometimes long excerpts they quoted.

They do claim the event was satirical, but I get the feeling it lacked any ability to take the mick out of one's self, and that makes for a smugness politics can do without.

Posted by: Darlene's Web Page at January 10, 2004 at 12:22 PM

thank you for highlighting this Tim. It is very sad to see how the BBC has declined in recent years.

Posted by: john at January 10, 2004 at 12:22 PM

The BBC has suspended Kilroy for this but continues to employ Tom 'kill the jews' Paulin who told an arab newspaper that US born jews should be 'Shot Dead'. Apparantly that does not incite racial hatred.

Posted by: Ross at January 10, 2004 at 12:27 PM

Geting fired by the BBC should be a badge of honor.

Posted by: Lewis at January 10, 2004 at 12:53 PM

check out number 4)


"It is clear that if any British Muslim says he wants to travel to Afghanistan to try to kill British or US soldiers, then that is clearly against the public interest and his passport should be removedĒ


To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department:
(1) what action he proposes to take to restrict the activities of those involved in recruiting British citizens for paramilitary training (a) in the UK and (b) overseas on behalf of Islamic fundamentalist organisations; and if he will make a statement


"I find it hard to understand why action is not taken against these people, their groups and their materialĒ

"Labour MP demands arrest of 'anti-Semitic' Muslims",
Sean O'Neill, The Daily Telegraph, 05 Feb 2002

What troubles me is that this group considers opposition to anti-Semitism and militant groups operating in Afghanistan as Islamophobia. Though, I will agree that arresting people for anti-Semetic views is over the top, but I still don't understand why that is anti-Islam.

Posted by: hast at January 10, 2004 at 12:57 PM

Having a go at Arabs is like shooting fish in a barrel. I expect it is now illegal to criticize Arabs. It’s the only defense Arabs have got. I wonder how non-arab muslins feel that by stating simple fact it is somehow islamophobia.

Posted by: Simon at January 10, 2004 at 01:16 PM

Robert Kilroy Silk spoke the truth, albeit to harshly.

Oddly enough, I have only seen anti-terrorism/pro-peace rallies in two middle eastern countries: Iraq and Afghanistan.

The middle east needs to catch up with the rest of the world on the evolutionary ladder. They need to wake up and rid themselves of these hate preaching, terrorism encouraging clerics and imams that make up their governments and poison their futile minds with this jihad bullshit.

This isn't 290 BC, its high time you stop building your houses out of mud. and you can stop believing that if you blow yourself up in a crowd of people that allah will reward you with 70 virgins, because it's all BULLSHIT.

Posted by: Oktober at January 10, 2004 at 01:32 PM

Re: Lewis' comments -- any way to get an "honorary firing" from the BBC, you know, so I can put it on a resume?

Posted by: Jerry at January 10, 2004 at 02:10 PM

Jerry:

You're fired, old chap.

(You don't know that this didn't come from the BBC, do you?)

Posted by: Ernie G at January 10, 2004 at 02:24 PM

Day by day, in teeny tiny increments, we edge closer and closer to the time when it will be acceptable to exterminate the Arabs.

Gimme another beer while we wait. :)

Posted by: Gary Utter at January 10, 2004 at 02:30 PM

And Now For Something No Longer Different


and no longer funny

Posted by: Daniel at January 10, 2004 at 02:39 PM

Islamophobic? That's rich. I don't know a single person who is afraid of islamos. They are largely bad smelling, wife-beating, boy-raping sorry excuses for human beings who have every textbook characteristic of insecure cowards. They are "humiliated" when the biggest baddest pussy among them got his ass dragged out of a hole.

Boy, I can taste the fear now as I tremble over the latest video from Osama. The left is, once again, projecting their own idiocy and weakness when they employ such snappy catch-phrases.

Posted by: Horst Graben at January 10, 2004 at 02:47 PM

The Muslin Council of Great Britain states that Kilroy was guilty of a gratuitious anti-arab rant.Strangely most of the Muslim population of GB are from the Indian subcontinent,mainly Pakistan and Bangladesh,so their concern is about their co-religionists.
It is odd there were no brownie points for recuing the muslim Kosovans.

Posted by: Peter UK at January 10, 2004 at 03:18 PM

Most Americans realize that Kilroy's position is entirely justified: Arab culture hasn't accomplshed anything in 200 years, and truth is the ultimate defense for libel. Faced with the choice of betraying Israel and being labeled "Islamophobes," we would indeed choose stigma over sin. That is why it is in the interests of Islamists to say these things in Britain but not in America. Moreover, the Islamists know this.

Consider: the same people trained in the same way say completely different things to different audiences. In Palestine, they speak of destroying the Zionist State. In Britain, they agitate against public figures who support Israel. In America, they merely claim to want peace while working behind the scenes to subvert the State Deptartment. This suggests a planned program of incrimentalism, which is why we negotiate with Islamists at our peril.

We cannot win this war (a war against militant Islamif fanatics, not against Islam itself, I hasten to add) without fighting it; and it must be fought on all fronts--not least that of public opinion. For that reason, I regard Kilroy as nothing less than a casualty of war. Maybe a beer-fund reprise is in order?

Posted by: Nathan Hall at January 10, 2004 at 03:38 PM

I'm not entirely sure that this is appropriate or not, but I have links to a lot of pertinent material on my blog, and I do so desperately crave hits!

Posted by: Dave Munger at January 10, 2004 at 04:00 PM

Did anyone else notice the colours on the poster advertising the British Islamophobia award?

Red for the social thought underlying the movement. White the national thought. And black, you can fill the rest in.. I guess they are forced to use subtle symbolism since such overt displays are banned in Europe.

Posted by: markove at January 10, 2004 at 04:30 PM

The Islamophobe site is downright freightening. Here is a site proclaiming "human rights" while praising the "Islamic revolution" in Iran, a brutal and human-right denying regime if there ever was one. I saw nothing on their site that condemned Arab or Muslim human rights abuses, but plenty of complaints about people who have made even the mildest protest against Islamofascism. It is depressing, sometimes, to confront how deep and wide runs the Islamofascist doctrine.

Posted by: Howard Owens at January 10, 2004 at 04:40 PM

You've gotta love the fact that Ariel Sharon won the award for "Most Islamophobic International Politician of the Year" for supposedly making remarks about Israeli soldiers raping Muslim women--a quote that they couldn't even verify. Pathetic.

Posted by: Sean M. at January 10, 2004 at 04:50 PM

Shouldn't the 2003 awards be based on comments made in some one-year period not preceding 2002? Some nominations include comments from 2001, 1999, 1995, unknown...

Which is all perfectly logical and a acceptable. (Phew! Dodged my own nomination next year. Or in five years.)

Posted by: Bob71 at January 10, 2004 at 05:47 PM

Again, pathetic, but just because similar statements are made about e.g. Americans or Israelis all the time without anyone batting an eyelid.

What is quite disturbing is that nowhere have I seen Kilroy-Silk's actual words in context, to evaluate for myself. All quotations seem to start and stop at the same place, providing no evidence he labeled Arabs generally as opposed to Arab regimes, a huge difference. In his apology he seems to claim he was talking about regimes, but from this article it appears he indeed referred to Arabs, as in all of them.

While cancelling his show is way over the top and a clear example of censorship of undesired ideas by a state-owned enterprise, I am not too happy about his generalised remarks about a large group of people. There is hardly anything all the world's Muslims, Americans, Arabs, Jews, Europeans, whatever have in common.

Posted by: Jan Haugland at January 10, 2004 at 07:46 PM

It is interesting that one of Kilroy-Silk's leading persecutors, Labour MP Lynne Jones, is described on her website as "Chair [sic] of the Parliamentary Fourum on Transsexualism." How does Islamicist culture and theology deal with transsexuals?

Posted by: sue at January 10, 2004 at 08:25 PM

Re Sue's question: In a Muslim country, Ms/Mr Lynne Jones MP Transexual Chair, etc., who get a different type of chair . . .

Posted by: Lewis at January 10, 2004 at 09:52 PM

This dhimmitude thing at the BBC reminds us of the chilling effect that political correctness has on free debate in academia.

Posted by: Sissy Willis at January 10, 2004 at 10:01 PM

The BBC had to fire Kilroy because of the extreme danger he posed.

If he was willing to tell the truth about Arab dictatorships, he might next tell the truth about the BBC.

Mr. Dyke and the rest couldn't have that now, could they?

Posted by: John W. Matthews at January 10, 2004 at 10:08 PM

"he might next tell the truth about the BBC.

Mr. Dyke and the rest couldn't have that now, could they?"

A couple of minor, but telling points here:

90% Accurate? That's Good Enough for the BBC

An unusual look at the BBC's internal newsletter here:

Playing With the BBC's Private Organ

Posted by: The Tapir at January 10, 2004 at 10:38 PM

Let's make one thing clear: any one who makes a racist or derogatory and generalised comment about any race should be treated as racist. Thankfully our country have laws to deal with these people who incite hatred.

If Kilroy made offensive comments about blacks or whites - he would have immediately been labelled a racist. But hey- his comments were about Arabs. Why is there now such a heated debate? UK law is very clear- inciting hatred against a group of people is wrong and unlawful.

But was Kilroy's assertions regarding the Arabs correct?
Let's look at their record. There are over 200 million Arabs in the Arab world of over 20 nations- but only a small number of the Gulf states stipulate full Islamic style garb for women and Islamic amputations for criminals. So Kilroy's comments were not even factually correct!

Contribution to the world? How could this even be questioned?

Most of the advanced human civilisations sprang from the Arabs. The Moorish Empire (Andalusia in Spain), Babylon (in modern- day Iraq), they contributed in language (1 billion people speak some level of Arabic due to their faith in Islam), they popularised their faith (The idealogical appeal of Islam streches from Morroco to Indonesia, from Nigeria to central Russia). Their Science? Well,they formed the foundation of modern mathemetics! ('Al-gebra', calculus, the concept of 'zero'). When Europeans thought the world was flat it was already stated in the Qu'ran that Earth was a globe 1000 years earlier, discoveries in Medicine and Astronomy.

The first organised cities and universities were founded by the Arabs.

So I think Kilroy has only shown his pure ignorance and lack of learning with his comments.

I agree that the last 2-3 hundred years have seen a stagnation of the Arabs- but this has also coincided with European colonisation and the grab for land and resources.

So please be truly civilised as you claim to be and please refuse to peddle ignorant racism.

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 01:52 AM

RH,

There are laws against free speech in the UK? Thank god we broke away from that kind of imbecilic rot 200+ years ago.

Second, you are wrong when you say that generalized comments against any group are not tolerated. The BBC regularly makes assertions against Israel based on lies, innuendo, and outright hate, but I don't see anyone getting fired for that (that was the main point of Tim's post). I also often hear comments such as "Americans" this, or "Americans" that, lumping 300 million citizens together. Why are we not arresting these purveyors of hate?

Third, to somehow base the stagnation of the Arabs on the "land grabs" of Eupore is a joke. No one has been as oppressed over the last 300-400 years as much as Blacks (with the possible exception of American Indians), and their cultural contributions are easily observed (i.e. the invention of Jazz). The Arab's own culture and drift towards fundementalist dogma is responsible for their lack of progress -- same as with the Europeans during the Middle Ages.

Lastly, I agree that we should be careful to overgeneralize as it pertains to cultures and races/ethnicities. However, the Left does this just as much as anyone. How many times have we heard, as an example, that "Europe" opposed the Iraq war? Even in the most anti-war countries, I'm sure you could find many individuals who supports the war (not to mention that, in fact, more European countries supported the war than were against it).

Posted by: Jerry at January 11, 2004 at 03:14 AM

RH, I cannot believe you somehow think "Arabs" have existed as such since pre-history. Go read a few history books and clear this muddled issue in your empty little head up.

(What the hell happened to the grammatical structure of that last sentence?)

Posted by: ushie at January 11, 2004 at 03:23 AM

"Most of the advanced human civilisations sprang from the Arabs."

Really? More than China, Rome, Greece and post enlightenment Europe?

"they popularised their faith (The idealogical appeal of Islam streches from Morroco to Indonesia, from Nigeria to central Russia)"

To be precise they invaded vast tracts of land and forced them to convert to islam on pain of death.

"Their Science? Well,they formed the foundation of modern mathemetics! ('Al-gebra', calculus, the concept of 'zero')."

I was under the impression that Newton invented Calculus. As for 'zero' and the concept of algebra, didn't the Indians invent them and the arabs simply transmitted them to Europe.

"When Europeans thought the world was flat it was already stated in the Qu'ran that Earth was a globe 1000 years earlier"

The fact that the world was round was widely known for millenia, the greek Eratosthenes worked out the circumference of the globe in the third century BC.

Posted by: Ross at January 11, 2004 at 03:26 AM

I'd rather focus on the responses to such articles and who is making them. Kilroy-Silk criticizes the Arab states and the "Muslim" council responds? Here in the US we have a group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They're a known militant Islam supporting group that has members arrested for terrorism charges once every quarter, yet the group is still flaunted as the major Islamic spokesperson in the US. When they first began they were a "religions liberities" group. Then they were a "Arab liberties" group. Now they are an "Islamic liberties" group. They've shaped their organization as the times call for.

Jerry's points about the overgeneralization within comments is spot on. If you ever read the Arab press you'd be shocked by how much they fib the facts to toe the anti-western line. Well, maybe not shocked due to the fact that just about everyone by now knows how ridiculous the Arab media is at times.

My suggestion is to take these groups to task. If they do, as they say, advocate for the positions of 'Arabs' or 'Muslims' then make them cover their issues. Not all Arabs are Muslims. Not all Muslims are Arabs. Do these groups know this? Absolutely, so we should expect them to defend arab christians, arab jews and arab atheists just as often as they defend arab muslims.

Kilroy-Silk has plenty of material to work with if he wants to discuss dictatorship and satist attitudes in Arab states. PC journalism fails because there aren't enough pages or ink to even handedly critique every religion's extremists in one story.

Posted by: axiom at January 11, 2004 at 03:34 AM

Institutions like the BBC continue to exist in their own PC vacuums, oblivious to outside events. They have constructed a fairy-tale world where everyone is good (except America) and no one is bad (except, well, guess). But the suppression of dissenting views is like wiring down the safety valve on a boiler. Sooner or later something will blow.

Posted by: Jerry at January 11, 2004 at 03:48 AM

Did anyone else but me flash on Lieutenant Chekhov's "The Russians inwented everything" shtick from the original Star Trek when they read RH's spiel?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 11, 2004 at 04:07 AM

"Did anyone else but me flash on Lieutenant Chekhov's "The Russians inwented everything" shtick from the original Star Trek when they read RH's spiel?"

Actually I was thinking more of that book from a couple of years ago called 'How the Irish Saved Civilization'. If you have a look at any usenet forum to do with any race or nationality they all seem to have inflated sense of their own historical importance.

Posted by: Ross at January 11, 2004 at 04:45 AM

I have just finished an interesting programme on UK's Channel 4. Turning Muslim in Texas- about how
white conservative people are converting to the Islamic faith.

Islam is the largest growing faith in America. Even if you take away the effects of immigration it will still be so.

So guys- things are gearing up. The US ring-wing establishment have already lost the war of ideas- and they have resorted to force to impose their ideas in the Middle East. But what will you do now with your indegenous muslim population? You can't stop them converting can you? And with these growing numbers there will be moe sympathy for the plight of the arabs from within the US.

Wake up guys- remove racism and understand each other. When's the last time an Arab state or regime invaded and bombed you? Ha? Never? So why are you guys so scared? Because you are afraid of what you don't understand. Because Washington is in the grip of Israel sympathisers.

And no- that's not a racist comment because I have no problem with Jewish people. Only violent states that bomb and invade other countries in the name of 'freedom'.

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 04:47 AM

I was going to respond to RD's post, but Axiom already said it all.

Posted by: madne0 at January 11, 2004 at 04:51 AM

To Kilroy, Ross and others who are
"Arabic-contribution deniers".

I'm not saying all Arabs are super genius's. I'm saying please don't deny their contribution to society. How could calculus be invented if you didn't have at least some advanced algebra.

Read and weep:

Arabic numerals including zero were the greatest contributions made by the Arabs to the mathematical science. The outstanding quality of Arabic numerals lies in the fact that they possess an absolute value. Huroful Ghubar was a novel form of numerals adopted in Spain by 950 A. D. The most significant numeral invented by the Arabs was zero which according to Carra De Vaux "was used by the Arabs at least 250 years before it became known in the west". Before the introduction of the zero it was necessary to arrange all figures in columns to differentiate between tens, hundreds, thousands, etc. The earliest use of the zero is given as 873 A. D.


Algebra
Is a word derived from the Arabic source AlJabar and is the product of Arabic genius.

Al-Khwarizmi the celebrated mathematician is also the author ofHisab Al-Jabr Wal Muqabla, an outstanding work on algebra which contains analytical solutions of linear and quadratic equations. Khwarizmi has the distinction of being one of the founders of algebra who developed this branch of science to an exceptionally high degree. He also gives geometric solutions of quadratic equations, e.g., x2+10x=39 an equation which was repeated by later mathematicians. Robert Chester was the first to translate this book into Latin in 1145 A. D. which introduced Algebra into Europe. Later on this book was translated by Gerard of Cremona also. The Algebra written by Al-Khwarizmi is lucid and well-arranged. After dealing with equations of the second degree, the learned mathematician discussed algebraic multiplications and divisions. Writing in The Legacy of Islam Carra De Vaux says, "In the 18th century Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa, an algebraist of considerable importance says he owed a great deal to the Arabs."' He travelled in Egypt, Syria, Greece and Sicily and learned the Arabic methods there, recognised it to be superior to the method of Pythagoras and composed a liber Abaci in 15 chapters, the rest of which deals with algebraic calculations. Leonardo enumerates the six cases of the quadratic equations just as Al-Khwarizmi gives them. The translation by Robert Chester of Khwarizmi's algebra marks the beginning of the era of the introduction and advancement of this branch of science in Europe. "The importance of Robert's Latin translation of Khwarizmi's algebra", says a modern orientalist, "can hardly be exaggerated because it marked the beginning of European Algebra."

Omar Khayyam, the celebrated poet, philosopher, astronomer and mathematician has left behind an excellent book on algebra. His works on algebra were translated in 1851, while his Ruhaiyat were first pubished in 1859. The manuscripts of his principal works exist in Paris and in the India Office London; Mosadrat, researches on Euclid's axioms, and Mushkilat-i-Hissab, dealing with complicated arithmetical problems, have been preserved in Munich (Germany). According to V∑ Minorsky, "He was the greatest mathematician of mediaeval times." His primary contribution is in algebra in which he has registered much advance on the work of the Greeks. His algebra is an advance on that of Khwarizmi too in the degree of equations--as the greater Part of Omar's book is devoted to the cubic equations only. His algebra deals with the geometric and algebraic solution of equation of the second degree and includes an admirable classification of equations based on the number and different terms which they include. He recognises thirteen different forms of cubic equations. His solution of cubic and quadratic equations by the conic section method is probably the most advanced work of Arabic mathematics that has survived. "His skill as a geometer" says Carra De Vaux, "is equal to his literary erudition and reveals real logical power and penetration."

Abul Kamil improved upon the algebra of Khwarizmi. He dealt with quadratic equations, multiplication and division of algebraic quantities, addition and subtraction of radicals and the algebraic treatment of' pentagons and decagons.

Abu Bakr Karkhi, who adorned the court' of Fakhrul Mulk in the beginning of 11th century wrote an outstanding treatise on algebra known as AlFakhri. This is one of the best books on the subject left by a Muslim mathematician and was published by Woepeke in Paris in 1853 A.D.

So please don't be as ignorant as the fundamentalists. Just recognise history and make peace.

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 04:57 AM

White conservatives in Texas converting to Islam? Haha

Have you ever been to Texas? I have. Texas is one of the most hardcore conservative Christian states in the US. White conservative muslims would go over in Texas like a clansman at a Kucinich rally.

Posted by: Matt G at January 11, 2004 at 05:28 AM

"Day by day, in teeny tiny increments, we edge closer and closer to the time when it will be acceptable to exterminate the Arabs." Muttered by Gary Utter on this site.

And you think you are better than the extremists?

Please!! Wake up to the evil you are appeasing on this site. If you going to wave the flag of freedom and democracy- fine, but don't then start allowing Nazi rants here.

Yeah- and I'm no Arab lover but don't tolerate this rubbish -chaps.

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 05:29 AM

"Have you ever been to Texas? I have. Texas is one of the most hardcore conservative Christian states in the US." Matt G

I think that was the point of the programme...Matt. That, even there, Islam has take root.

You don't think Channel 4 fabricated the intelligence do you? Sorry that's the Bush regime!

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 05:33 AM

In my entire 28 years of living in the United States I have never met a single white muslim. Channel 4 is grossly misrepresenting the truth. But Channel 4 is an unbiased broadcaster, right? Bwahaha

Posted by: Matt G at January 11, 2004 at 05:37 AM

"Day by day, in teeny tiny increments, we edge closer and closer to the time when it will be acceptable to exterminate the Arabs." Muttered by Gary Utter on this site.


And you think you are better than the extremists?

Not at all. I AM an extremist. I am, an extreme realist. Either the Arabs give up the fundamentalist crap and learn to tolerate other religions, or there will be no more Arabs.

I'm not going to do anything about it. I am not calling for it, nor will I support it, but total war is coming unless those fucktards settle down. That's a fact. Hide and watch.

Oh, as for Mr Kilroy-Silk, telling the truth is not hate speech. Nor it is racist.

Posted by: Gary Utter at January 11, 2004 at 05:40 AM

First off RH, Babylon was never an Arab City (The arabs didn't arrive in the region until well after 1 AD, roughly 300-400 AD IIRC). So the founding of much of modern civilization cannot be layed at their feet (The Iranians on the other hand, are the descendants of one of history's great civilizations, the Persians).

As to Arabic Numerals, they didn't originate with the Arabs, as formerly thought, but in India.

Algebra is their one great contibution of knowledge (You can't lay knowing the earth was round, as the greeks knew that, the Church simply Ptolemy at his word, even if he was wrong). Note that this was from the Muslims, not necessarily the Arabs (It's quite possible said mathematician was a Turk, Kurd or Persian, all of whom were quite prominent at court in those days. The Ottoman Empire was a Turkish Empire, not Arab, remember, and the Arab's only real military hero, Saladin, was a Kurd, not an Arab.)

The other great contribution was the preserving of much of the writings of ancient civilizations, which were mostly lost in the west through the Dark Ages.

Calculus was invented by two western mathematicians simultaniously (Liebnitz and Newton)

Arab Civilization has been pretty much dead in the water since the 1200's, with the rise of the Ottoman Turks, and not even hanging on after aout 1500 (At that point, Muslim civilisation was almost wholly Turkish and Persian)

Posted by: Adam Maas at January 11, 2004 at 05:44 AM

Matt G:

White muslims do exist.

Just look at Chechnya or Bosnia. All the Muslims there are white.

And you can't tell an Iranian from an Italian. Catherine Bell of the TV show JAG is Iranian (Not sure if she's muslim, but she's definitely Iranian, even speaks Farsi fluently)

Posted by: Adam Maas at January 11, 2004 at 05:48 AM

As Ross pointed out, the Earth was proven to be a sphere by the Greeks. Nobody tried to stop Columbus because they thought the earth was flat.

They tried to stop Columbus because Columbus was wrong about the diameter of the Earth. His notion of reaching Asia by sailing west was absolutely impossible given the range of ships at the time; blundering into the American supercontinent was sheer luck.

Posted by: John Nowak at January 11, 2004 at 06:02 AM

First off, RH, Arabs did NOT invent the digit zero. That distinction goes to the mathematicians of India, whose use of decimal place notation is attested from the Gupta period (circa AD 320-540).

Second, while al-Khwarizmi & al-Khayyam were indeed gifted mathematicians, they based their work largely upon previous art developed by the Indians & Greeks. Al-Khwarizmi's astronomical tables, for instance, were derived chiefly from the Brahma-siddhanta (Sanskrit, 7th century AD). Diophantos of Alexandria (fl. AD 250) developed a notational algebra long before the Arabs ever took up science, & used it to solve determinate first- & second-order equations, & indeterminate equations up to the sixth degree. Unfortunately he, being too ignorant (by your standards) to write in Arabic, was unable to use the word 'algebra', & had to call his magnum opus by the Greek title 'Ta Arithmetike'.

Some of your other claims shade off into the realm of sheer fantasy. 'Most of the advanced human civilisations sprang from the Arabs,' you say. You cite Babylon as an example. The Babylonians were not Arabs, any more than the modern-day Kurds or Assyrians. It is true that the Babylonian language was a member of the Semitic group, but if that makes the Babylonians Arabs, you'll have to include the Jews as well, & I don't suppose you'd really care to do that. Ethnically, the Babylonians were a mixture of Semitic & Indo-European stock with the indigenous (as far as we know) Sumerian strain. The 'Moorish Empire', as you call the Cordova emirate, was a minor outlier of mediaeval Islam, yet contrived to have a disproportionate cultural influence, precisely because it was not an Arab state. Moors will not thank you for calling them Arabs, & neither will Spaniards! (Persia & Muslim India, the other two major non-Arab peoples of early Islam, had similar cultural flowerings at periods when the Arab heartland relapsed into decadence & confusion. That decadence was reversed only when the non-Arab Turks imposed their rule upon the Middle East.) And yes, RH, it was the Greeks who demonstrated the sphericity of the earth in the third century BC, with such conclusiveness that no educated Westerner has disputed it since.

To conclude, some peoples who developed major civilizations NOT derived from the Arabs: the Chinese, Japanese, Hindus, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Christian Europeans, & Jews, to say nothing of the various Mesoamerican cultures, or of the civilizations of the ancient Middle East whose distant successors were eventually conquered by the Arabs, & from whom the Arabs derived most of the soi-disant Arabic civilization. Among that last group, the Egyptians hold pride of place, but there are of course many others, from Sumer-Akkad to Phoenicia.

Go peddle your pan-Arabist soft soap to someone ignorant enough to mistake it for genuine history.

Posted by: Jay Random at January 11, 2004 at 06:21 AM

Gee, what does the UK do about Coleridge? Is there a grandfather clause in the allowed speech laws?

``A new religion had fanaticised whole nations. Men bred up in the habits of a wild
and roaming freedom, had been brought together by its influence, and taught to
unite the energies of a savage life with all the harmony and calculable
coincidencies of a machine. But this religion was deadly to morals, to
science, to civil freedom: no society could be progressive under its
influence. It was favorable to superstition, cunning, and sensual
indulgence; but it bore no fruit, it yielded no marriageable arms to
the vine, it sheltered no healing plant. The soil was grassless where it
grew; the fox made it its nest at the root, and the owl screamed in its
branches. - Such was the religion of Mahomet.''

S.T.Coleridge, in The Courier, 6 Aug 1800

You could take away from it that the advantages of the religion were not apparent to him. That might be a good line for Muslims to work on.

There's a theory, that religion is the poetization of ethics, that is, you can recover the ethical lesson from the religious poetry. It's not obvious how to do it for Islam, to me.

Eg. ``God is merciful'' means ``Be merciful, like Him.'' Every fact about God is recoverable as a fact about ethics; every man is in a position to take on the suffering of others - every man is the Messiah. And so forth. For Islam, ... what?

You want religious poetry because it is not theory, and reflects and verbalizes the ethical phenomena that start things going.

That's why the Coleridge still resonates.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at January 11, 2004 at 07:47 AM

Omar Kayyam was a Persian, not an Arab.

Posted by: Susan at January 11, 2004 at 07:58 AM

RH

Tain't no Muslims round here that ain't got dark skin.

Maybe the BBC is talking about old Texas.

Posted by: AG the Angry Texan at January 11, 2004 at 08:09 AM

RH's argument seems to be thus:

Muslim Arabs had a great civilization 800 - 1400 AD so we should excuse them for being backward, corrupt, fundamentalist wankers now.

Well, whats good for the goose, is good for the gander....

Israel had a flowering civilization c. 1000 BC and was one of the most advanced states in the middle east, and can be credited for the development of modern monotheism. Therefore, using RH's thesis, they can be excused from all sorts of wrongdoing.

Oh, and RH, the fastest growing religion in the west isn't Islam, its Buddhism.

(or at least it is in Australia)

Probably because Buddhists haven't making headlines blowing up things recently.

Posted by: Quentin George at January 11, 2004 at 08:18 AM

[i]'Most of the advanced human civilisations sprang from the Arabs[/i]

Bet the Aztecs, Incas, Byzantines, Chinese or the Romans are amazed to hear this.

The Renaissance in Europe was mainly due to a recontact with learning of the ancient Greeks and Romans. I'm not saying there was some Arabic influence, but it wasn't as great as you think.

[i]Babylon [/i]

Eh...you do know that by the time of the Arab empires, Babylon was a overgrown ruin? Being linear descendants philosophically of Jewish theology, I hardly think they would have embraced a city labelled "The Great Whore".

Besides, if you're going to use pre-Islamic nations to support your "Muslims invented the world" premise, you should be aware that what is now Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, were all Christian (Byzantine) before they were Muslim.

Posted by: Quentin George at January 11, 2004 at 08:24 AM

Shit...sorry Andrea, I did it again. I keep forgetting to use normal tags here.

Sorry.

Posted by: Quentin George at January 11, 2004 at 08:26 AM

I agree that the last 2-3 hundred years have seen a stagnation of the Arabs- but this has also coincided with European colonisation and the grab for land and resources.

Islamic Arabs were stagnating long before "Europeans" grabbed land, buddy. One of the reasons for the European push into America was that the Ottomans controlled the Balkans, Turkey, all of the Middle East, Saudia Arabia, Egypt etc and blocked trade to China.

Columbus was trying to find a Ottoman-free passage.

Plus, whats with this idea colonisation was some European-only club?

Japan went from being a medieval society to colonising power in less than 100 years.

The Age of Colonisation was merely a free-for-all, the Arabs are just pissed they missed the boat.

Posted by: Quentin George at January 11, 2004 at 08:32 AM

Where did I say white muslims don't exsist? Thats right, I didn't. And since you implied that these "White Conservatives from Texas", I will keep the subject to the United States, and white conservatives. I don't care about Chechnya or Bosnia.

What I did say, was that in the United States, in the 33 states I've been to, I have yet to meet a white muslim. Thats any white muslim, of any political ideology.

Now, add to that this rubish that 'white conservatives' are turning to Islam in droves, (in Texas of all places), is absolute pie-in-the sky wishful thinking by some liberal UK (or whatever gov't owned channel 4 you are talking about) broadcasters pushing thier viewpoint.

Conservatives in the bible belt of the United States are the most hardcore NRA loving, NASCAR watching Jesus loving people you will ever meet. The muslims you will find in the US will be arab, Indonesian, or Black. They will not be NASCAR fans with a gun rack and Confederate flag.

I'm quite sure the oddball white muslim exsists here and there in the US - but it is such a unique novelty - as rare as balanced reporting from the BBC.

And since I have actually been to most all (haven't been to West Virgina yet) bible belt states, and you have not- I will believe my own eyes and not some retards from Channel 4.

You have been owned.

Posted by: Matt G at January 11, 2004 at 09:22 AM

seems to me the islamics are allowed to criticise and condem decent western nations all they like but can't hack it when some tells the truth about them.Its so sad that the BBC suspended him but not suprising given thier incredably biased and massivly over the top pro-islamic stance.It makes me furious to have to pay a t.v license for thier crap.Kilroy has commited no crime at all in any normal persons eyes.I also think he appolagised about his comments because he probably realised the 'religion of peace' will try and kill him and his family for this- such nice people eh.I'm positive they'll issue a fatwa or whaterver they call it against him.Kilroy is a breath of fresh air in a stagnent over PC western press - a real hero in my eyes.He should get back into politics and speak some more truths and maybe fuck wits and Islamic fundamentalist appeaser's might realise what the 'religion of peace' is really like.

Posted by: Jon Shep at January 11, 2004 at 10:05 AM

Matt G- Point taken. Some other guy bought up the subject about white muslims in other countries, not me.

Quentin- "Islamic Arabs were stagnating long before "Europeans" grabbed land, buddy. One of the reasons for the European push into America was that the Ottomans controlled the Balkans, Turkey, all of the Middle East, Saudia Arabia, Egypt etc and blocked trade to China."

I agree with you. All I said was that phase coincided with a major colonisation period i.e the Arabs didn't just miss the boat, they themselves were colonised. And in all cases by Europeans- Ottoman, French, British. (Oh yes I used the Europe word very loosely to include the Turks!!!)

I don't belive the Arabs are pissed about missing any boat- because they've had their glory days like the Greeks and Romans.

Now they just want to left alone and not be bombed and invaded all the time- that is all.

"use pre-Islamic nations to support your "Muslims invented the world" premise, you should be aware that what is now Egypt, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, were all Christian (Byzantine) before they were Muslim."

Come on Quentin, I never said they invented the world. Besides they did have an empire under various dysnaties- and their ideology and religion spurred on the Moors, Persions and Ottomans. Apart from English and Spanish name me one other language which is as widespread across the continents. A billion people go the mosque on Fridays- both moderates and zeolots.You know who to thank for that one! Can the same be said for Christians, with all due respect, attending churchs?(Not being racist I'm just observing a fact).

"Muslim Arabs had a great civilization 800 - 1400 AD so we should excuse them for being backward, corrupt, fundamentalist wankers now?"

Excuse them- no don't excuse them at all. Fight that corruption. I'm not too impressed with them at the moment. Just don't deny history- that's all I'm saying- especially to the "Arab contribution deniers" like Kilroy. (If thats what he truly meant- who knows?).

Yes- fight the corruption of these Arab regimes. But you won't get anywhere if all you do is outsource American policy to the Ruling families of the Gulf. Because all you're doing is feeding that Arab corruption. Pull out your forces and then see what the people will do to these regimes.

But the US won't do that will they? I wonder why not? Black gold perhaps. Maybe Barain, Qatar, and Saudi are too vital as huge refuelling stops for your carriers??

Lastly Utter- "Not at all. I AM an extremist. I am, an extreme realist. Either the Arabs give up the fundamentalist crap and learn to tolerate other religions, or there will be no more Arabs."

Thats a new one- realist. I think the Nazis were saying those things in the 30s as well but not about Arabs.
(Am I on a Nazi site here??!- Who knows I can't tell anymore.)


RH- Always on the look out for the Nazi deniers.

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 10:40 AM

Jon- "seems to me the islamics are allowed to criticise and condem decent western nations all they like but can't hack it when some tells the truth about them".

I can't beleive a compatriot could say such a thing!

If someone condemms the policy of a government of a Western nation fine- it's free speech. But if a muslim or non-muslim slurs a whole people based on their ethnicity? Come on thats totally out of order- thats racist pure and simple whoever says it. This site is not about racism- I thought this site was about freedom and democracy!

If you don't like the "Islamics"- why did you liberate Kuwait and Iraq? Jon? Bush did. Answer that one old chap!

RH

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 10:50 AM

Jon- "Kilroy is a breath of fresh air in a stagnent over PC western press."

Daily Telegraph, MSNBC, Fox, The Sun, Sky, The Times, NY Times, Washt'n Post, Daily Mail, Express, Time.

I say are these guys over PC- I think not.

Posted by: RH at January 11, 2004 at 10:54 AM

i don't decide forign policy for America, I was 12 when we liberated kuwait and am working in the electronics field at the moment so it was hardly my doing now was it. the trouble i have with Islam is that in thier lands non Islamics are treated like dirt and second rate citizens (like thier women too) yet when they live hear they expect to be treated like Gods with no criticism against them allowed while they can slag us off all they like and get away with it.I think its just a case of the truth hurts for the religion and its followers and thats why thier so upset,maybe now they might try and reform thier ways and stop shredding babys with suicide bombs and locking women up for the 'crime' as they see it of being raped as in pakistan.

Posted by: Jon Shep at January 11, 2004 at 11:02 AM

RH--But the US won't do that will they? I wonder why not? Black gold perhaps. Maybe Barain, Qatar, and Saudi are too vital as huge refuelling stops for your carriers?? had it occured to you that the black gold is thier only source of income (oh and a bit of fruit) and all the money we westerners pay for this black gold get grabbed by the money hungry tyrants in control while the average person out there lives in poverty,Answer that on old chap!

Posted by: Jon Shep at January 11, 2004 at 11:10 AM

Maybe this is what Kilroy is talking about...too close to home!

UK police arrest man in suicide bomb plan: report

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1023592.htm

UK police arrest man in suicide bomb plan: report
British police arrested a man before Christmas who was suspected of preparing himself for a suicide bombing and who had links to Al Qaeda, British newspaper The Sunday Times said.

The paper, which did not give a source, said the man in his late twenties was arrested after leaving notes to his family saying he planned to "martyr" himself.

The paper said he was an Algerian asylum seeker.

The man had also shaved off all his body hair, a religious act often observed by would-be suicide bombers so that they are "clean" before entering heaven, the newspaper said.

"I hope you treat me as a hero and a martyr," the man wrote to his sister and mother.

The letter was discovered by police on a raid at his home, which the paper said was in the north of England.

British police declined to comment on the story.

The Government put UK security services on a heightened state of alert in November, following warnings of a possible Al Qaeda attack, and security was visibly increased around all Britain's airports in the run up to Christmas.

In December, police remanded a British Muslim in custody over charges of having explosives and conspiring with convicted "shoe bomber" Richard Reid to carry out terror attacks.

The newspaper said the latest suspect was believed to have been charged with unrelated terrorist offences.

-- Reuters

Posted by: Tom at January 11, 2004 at 11:15 AM

Apart from English and Spanish name me one other language which is as widespread across the continents.

Portugese (Brazil, Mozambique, East Timor etc)

French (North Africa, Canda, France, Switzerland, Belgium)

Russian (spans Europe and Asia)

Mandarin Chinese (spoken by 890 million +)

I think Kilroy, generalising though he may have been, was referring to Modern arabs.

Its like the statement "Italians are crap at war"

The implication in the statement is you mean "modern" italians, not Romans.


And in all cases by Europeans- Ottoman, French, British. (Oh yes I used the Europe word very loosely to include the Turks!!!)

Ok, you call Ottomans Muslims...

Well, that means that most of the Arab "glory period" was European history, as past about 1000 AD Muslim culture was centred more towards turkey than Mecca.

But you won't get anywhere if all you do is outsource American policy to the Ruling families of the Gulf.

I think you'll find most posters here agree its time to crack down on the House of Saud. Unfortunately, removing dictators from the Middle East is considered "unilateralist cowboy imperalism" by the Left, so where not going to get very far.

A billion people go the mosque on Fridays- both moderates and zeolots.You know who to thank for that one! Can the same be said for Christians, with all due respect, attending churchs

I consider it one of the advantages of Western culture that we aren't all going to church. The Renaissance and the Reformation cleaned that up for us. Unfortunately, Islam is where it was circa 1400 AD (ie advanced and tolerant then, backward and reactionary now)

Posted by: Quentin George at January 11, 2004 at 11:16 AM

RH, practically everything you've said here has been wrong. I particularly enjoyed your confusion of medieval Arabs with the ancient Babylonians---rather like saying that today's Spanish have a great civilization because of the achievments of the Maya. Your perseverance is admirable. Most people, having been shown that their simplistic opinions are based on very bad information, would slink away in ignominy. But not you! You are determined to really show the depths of your ignorance. I applaud you, sir!

To give you further opportunity, I would like to point out that the US presence in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait dates only to the first Gulf War. The poor oppressed Saudi people had many years to rise up against their masters. What makes you think they'll do it when the US leaves? I guess we'll soon see if you're correct; the US is in the process of withdrawing from Saudi Arabia, if it isn't completely gone already.

What's the difference between criticizing a culture and criticizing a race? Do you suppose that Kilroy Silk believes that an Arab child raised by, e.g. a Swedish family will naturally grow up to oppress women? Isn't this a necessary prerequisite for racism, that the racist believes the behavior is inalterable?

Do you believe that the statement, "Americans are stupid and violent" is also racist? The point of many here is that this sort of sentiment is often expressed by Guardian writers and others in the UK. They certainly do not confine themselves to commenting on policy, but attack the culture. What's the difference between that position and Kilroy's opinions on Arabs?

Do you think that the commenters here have the beliefs they do because they have never once cracked open a book and read up on other cultures? Assuming that they are not, in fact, ignorant of the contribution of Arab cultures, to what do you ascribe their opinions? You seem to have decided that ignorance is the only basis for their views. If they are not ignorant, what is the basis?

I look forward to your answers.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at January 11, 2004 at 12:00 PM

While we bicker about an article that Kilroy wrote, which BTW, is factually, more or less correct, British nationals enlist to fight against British soldiers.
As British armed forces are forces of the Crown, it follows that Muslims who were arrested in Afghanistan, had taken up arms against the Crown and thus should have no protection of the Crown.
I see no reason that Britain should use the goodwill it has in the US for such people.


Posted by: DP at January 11, 2004 at 12:12 PM

While we bicker about an article that Kilroy wrote, which BTW, is factually, more or less correct, British nationals enlist to fight against British soldiers.
As British armed forces are forces of the Crown, it follows that Muslims who were arrested in Afghanistan, had taken up arms against the Crown and thus should have no protection of the Crown.
I see no reason that Britain should use the goodwill it has in the US for such people.


Posted by: DP at January 11, 2004 at 12:13 PM

RH

"This site is not about racism- I thought this site was about freedom and democracy!"

I don't know what democracy has to do with the conversation (unless you want to point out that the Arabs have none) but freedom includes the right to tell it like you see it, even if it's not 100% factually correct. What you really mean is that Robert Kilroy-Silk voiced an opinion that you disagree with and is unpopular in the Britain's current social climate so he must be made to shut up, and what better way to acomplish that than to brand him a racist and take away his livlihood.

RH (must be short for Rag Head)

Posted by: Arty at January 11, 2004 at 01:18 PM

Hey RH,
How is it that after being caught lying in making bogus claims that Arabs invented the decimal number, calculus and discovered the spherecity of the earth among other things, you don't have the decency to either shutup or apologise?

Anytime someone remarks on the backwardness of the Arabs/Muslims fools like you will emerge with some phony lists of achievements.

In any case do you see any Greek defending the present state of his country by hiding himself behind Plato or Euclid. Any modern day Briton behind the British Empire or Shakespere or Isaac Newton. Till only a few years ago the Russians had much a feared empire. Do you hear of Russians excusing their present parlous state by citing (all true) their moon landing, their supersonic airliner, Tolstoy or their nuclear fleet? Do the Israelis defend their policies by claiming common descent with Einstein or Marx or Freud? The same holds for any people that had truly achieved something.

On the other hand the Arabs/Muslims have to rely on some pathetic lies about past glory to shore up their fragile self-esteem. The ironic part about this "glory of Islam" gambit is that Jews had a large role in in its construction. All because at a certain period in history the Muslim Turks treated the Jews better than Christians. I'm pretty sure they are regretting it now though.

Posted by: Ivan Markose at January 11, 2004 at 01:22 PM

RH

In your first comment you said that Robert Kilroy-Silk's comments were not even "factually correct" then in a later comment you make reference to a show on Channel 4 that claims White people in Texas are converting to Islam. Do YOU believe that is factually correct? Channel 4 indeed. The channel numbers in Britain must be assigned according to the IQ of their viewers.

You should change your initials to FH (that's right, Fuck Head!)

Posted by: Arty at January 11, 2004 at 01:37 PM

Matt G: My bad on misunderstanding you.

I will note that I've met more than a few 'white' muslims in North America, of course, Toronto has a moderate sized Bosnian community, as well as more than a few Iranians, so 'white' or 'white'-looking muslims, though still a minority aren't uncommon, probably more common arond here than arabs though (The muslim community here is mostly from the Indian Subcontinent)

Posted by: Adam Maas at January 11, 2004 at 01:51 PM

A further clarification for RH: Omar Kayyam was an ARMENIAN!

Posted by: Drew at January 11, 2004 at 03:45 PM

There are some white (as in, descended from North-Western European types) Muslim converts in Florida. I can't say how many though. But I seriously doubt that Islam is making many inroads in the seriously conservative, Christian part of Texas. I mean, this is a British tv special we are talking about, right? From what I have read most British people seem to think everyone in Texas is some sort of Nazi cowboy, and anyway the British media think anyone who doesn't have a picture of Che Guevara hallowed on their living room wall is a conservative. As a matter of fact trendy conversions to neat, new (to the area) and best of all, Hated by the Man™ religions are (like in any other state) the urban areas of Texas, especially cities like Austin, which has, I am told, large numbers of impressionable, needing-to-be-cool college students.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 11, 2004 at 04:05 PM

RH

Lastly Utter- "Not at all. I AM an extremist. I am, an extreme realist. Either the Arabs give up the fundamentalist crap and learn to tolerate other religions, or there will be no more Arabs."


Thats a new one- realist. I think the Nazis were saying those things in the 30s as well but not about Arabs.

Tsk tsk, NAZIS? Is that the best you can do? I don't dislike Arabs, I pity them, for they are fools. Fools who will get themselves killed by their actions.

I'm making a prediction. It's not a wish, it's not a hope. It's a prediction of what WILL happen if they don't change their ways. To call that "racist" means a couple of things, it means you are a fucking idiot, and that your grasp of the English language is marginal at best. Get a fucking dictionary and look it the fuck up you ignorant fucktard. :)

Posted by: Gary Utter at January 11, 2004 at 06:52 PM

I'll give RH credit for pointing out that Arab culture did make enormous contributions to science. However, I think it's well worth pointing out that none of his claims actually happened within the last 200 years, so I think it's clear that RH substantially agrees with the point originally made.

>When Europeans thought the world was flat it was already stated in the Qu'ran that Earth was a globe 1000 years earlier,

Magellan circumnavigated the globe in 1522.

Muhammed died in 632.

In other words you are claiming that Europeans did not know the earth was round for about one hundred years after a European sailed around the planet.

Can you explain this?

Posted by: John Nowak at January 11, 2004 at 07:00 PM

You know, it's been rather amusing to watch RH transform from a Muslim world domination preacher to an obviously bad fast-talker. Not that I would believe any of it, but that brand of Muslim manifest destiny rhetoric is exactly what inspires so many young terrorists. Even the great, ignorant infidel - America - is falling to its knees and converting before the might of Islam!

"When's the last time an Arab state or regime invaded and bombed you?"
Is that officially, or unofficially? Or do planes that don't drop bombs not count?

Posted by: brian at January 11, 2004 at 08:08 PM

>But the US won't do that will they? I wonder why not? Black gold perhaps. Maybe Barain, Qatar, and Saudi are too vital as huge refuelling stops for your carriers??

These would be our nuclear powered carriers, right?

Posted by: John Nowak at January 11, 2004 at 10:47 PM

" When's the last time an Arab state or regime invaded and bombed you?"

-Name ONe, just ONE, Arab State that was NOT established by invasion!

Posted by: sue at January 12, 2004 at 12:57 AM

Wish I could have seen the Channel 4 show. I was born in Texas and have lived most of my life here. I get around in some very diverse parts of Texas (Gulf Coast; Rio Grande Valley; e.g.) and have never seen or heard of a white Muslim.

We do, however, have a lot of people who enjoy nasty collective generalizations. "The only good Indian is a dead Indian," springs to mind.

Indeed, I have heard some of my fellow nasty collective generalists use the same term of art about Muslims: "The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim."

If I were a Muslim - white, black, brown, red or polychromatic - I would look around at what happened to Native Americans in this part of the world and shut up.

Posted by: Theodopoulos Pherecydes at January 12, 2004 at 06:21 AM

"If I were a Muslim - white, black, brown, red or polychromatic - I would look around at what happened to Native Americans in this part of the world and shut up."

That's just what I am saying. The US is only civilized to a point, and when the gloves come off......

Posted by: Gary Utter at January 12, 2004 at 06:39 AM

RH : " When's the last time an Arab state or regime invaded and bombed you?"

September 11 2001. By your friends the Saudi's. Are you stupid enough to believe that an organization like Al Queda can come into being and exist without a state sponsorship? These groups do not and cannot exist without covert state assistance.

As for Arab contributions to the modern world,setting aside that you have been proven wrong in your assertions, let me pose to you the following question: given sufficent funding which of the following is more likely: Israel landing a craft on Mars entirely built and designed by Israeli's or all twenty two Arab countries combining scientific and engineering talents and landing an all Arab craft on Mars? Are you even capable of an honest answer?

The modern Arab world's contribution to humanity aside from oil: cotton,dates,Korans and terrorists.

Posted by: cubanbob at January 12, 2004 at 06:39 AM

Britain is finally discovering what has happened to it. There is a silent majority in the UK which is mad. Mad at the BBC, mad at the double standards, mad about the constant vilification of Israel surrounded by the 22 tyrannical Arab states.

http://www.bbcwatch.com

Posted by: Roger at January 12, 2004 at 07:26 AM

Jon- "Islam is that in thier lands non Islamics are treated like dirt and second rate citizens (like thier women too) "

You might want to check out Turkey, Indonesia and Bangladesh. They are all secular AND they have had (or currently have) female leaders.

If you want talk about "Islamics" look at the big picture.

Posted by: RH at January 12, 2004 at 09:49 AM

John- >"But the US won't do that will they? I wonder why not? Black gold perhaps. Maybe Barain, Qatar, and Saudi are too vital as huge refuelling stops for your carriers??

These would be our nuclear powered carriers, right?"

So carrier-borne aircraft and supporting flotilla do require fuel. (I believe).


Posted by: RH at January 12, 2004 at 09:53 AM

Two questions for RH:

1) What's your first language?
2) What's your second?

Posted by: Angus Jung at January 12, 2004 at 09:56 AM

Does anyone know how I can go about reading Kilroy's article so I can see for myself what he said?

Posted by: Albert at January 12, 2004 at 08:25 PM

BBC also funds "documentaries" that are pure propaganda:

www.petitiononline.com/gusano03

Posted by: JF at January 13, 2004 at 12:03 AM

Newsflash - the DID dance in the streets - i have relatives who saw it with their own eyes. Truth, apparently, is expendable where moral vanity is concerned.

Posted by: Joe at January 13, 2004 at 11:15 PM

Article by:

Professor J J O'Connor
Professor E F Robertson
Department Of Mathematics

University Of Texas at Austin


Arabic mathematics : Forgotten Brilliance?


Recent research paints a new picture of the debt that we owe to Arabic/Islamic mathematics. Certainly many of the ideas which were previously thought to have been brilliant new conceptions due to European mathematicians of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are now known to have been developed by Arabic/Islamic mathematicians around four centuries earlier.

In many respects the mathematics studied today is far closer in style to that of the Arabic/Islamic contribution than to that of the Greeks.
There is a widely held, racist view that, after a brilliant period for mathematics when the Greeks laid the foundations for modern mathematics, there was a period of stagnation before the Europeans again took over where the Greeks left off at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The common perception of the period of 1500 years or so between the ancient Greeks and the European Renaissance is that little happened in the world of mathematics except that some Arabic translations of Greek and Indian texts were made which preserved this ancient learning so that it was available to the Europeans at the beginning of the sixteenth century.

That such views should be generally held is of no surprise. Many leading historians of mathematics have contributed to the perception by either omitting any mention of Arabic/Islamic mathematics in the historical development of the subject or with statements such as that made by Duhem in [3]:-

... Arabic science only reproduced the teachings received from Greek science.

Before we proceed it is worth trying to define the period that this article covers and give an overall description to cover the mathematicians who contributed. The period we cover is easy to describe: it stretches from the end of the eighth century to about the middle of the fifteenth century.

The regions from which the "Arab mathematicians" came was mainly Iran/Iraq, primarily because the centre of power had shifted there and away from Arabia, the birthplace of Islam. It varied with military conquest during the period under consideration. At its greatest extent it stretched to the west through Turkey and North Africa to include most of Spain, and to the east as far as the borders of China. The background to the mathematical developments which began in Baghdad around 800 is not well understood.

Certainly there was an important influence which came from the Indian mathematicians whose earlier development of the decimal system and numerals was important. There began a remarkable period of mathematical progress with al-Khwarizmi's work and the translations of Greek texts.

This period begins under the Caliph Harun al-Rashid, the fifth Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty, whose reign began in 786. He encouraged scholarship and the first translations of Greek texts into Arabic, such as Euclid's Elements by al-Hajjaj, were made during al-Rashid's reign. The next Caliph, al-Ma'mun, encouraged learning even more strongly than his father al-Rashid, and he set up the House of Wisdom in Baghdad which became the centre for both the work of translating and of of research. Al-Kindi (born 801) and the three Banu Musa brothers worked there, as did the famous translator Hunayn ibn Ishaq.

We should emphasise that the translations into Arabic at this time were made by scientists and mathematicians such as those named above, not by language experts ignorant of mathematics, and the need for the translations was stimulated by the most advanced research of the time. It is important to realise that the translating was not done for its own sake, but was done as part of the current research effort.

Perhaps one of the most significant advances made by Arabic mathematics began at this time with the work of al-Khwarizmi, namely the beginnings of algebra. It is important to understand just how significant this new idea was. It was a revolutionary move away from the Greek concept of mathematics which was essentially geometric.

Algebra was a unifying theory which allowed rational numbers, irrational numbers, geometrical magnitudes, etc., to all be treated as "algebraic objects". It gave mathematics a whole new development path so much broader in concept to that which had existed before, and provided a vehicle for future development of the subject. Another important aspect of the introduction of algebraic ideas was that it allowed mathematics to be applied to itself in a way which had not happened before. As Rashed writes in [11] (see also [10]):-

Al-Khwarizmi's successors undertook a systematic application of arithmetic to algebra, algebra to arithmetic, both to trigonometry, algebra to the Euclidean theory of numbers, algebra to geometry, and geometry to algebra. This was how the creation of polynomial algebra, combinatorial analysis, numerical analysis, the numerical solution of equations, the new elementary theory of numbers, and the geometric construction of equations arose.

Let us follow the development of algebra for a moment and look at al-Khwarizmi's successors. About forty years after al-Khwarizmi is the work of al-Mahani (born 820), who conceived the idea of reducing geometrical problems such as duplicating the cube to problems in algebra. Abu Kamil (born 850) forms an important link in the development of algebra between al-Khwarizmi and al-Karaji. Despite not using symbols, but writing powers of x in words, he had begun to understand what we would write in symbols as xn.xm = xm+n. Let us remark that symbols did not appear in Arabic mathematics until much later. Ibn al-Banna and al-Qalasadi used symbols in the 15th century and, although we do not know exactly when their use began, we know that symbols were used at least a century before this.

Al-Karaji (born 953) is seen by many as the first person to completely free algebra from geometrical operations and to replace them with the arithmetical type of operations which are at the core of algebra today. He was first to define the monomials x, x2, x3, ... and 1/x, 1/x2, 1/x3, ... and to give rules for products of any two of these. He started a school of algebra which flourished for several hundreds of years. Al-Samawal, nearly 200 years later, was an important member of al-Karaji's school. Al-Samawal (born 1130) was the first to give the new topic of algebra a precise description when he wrote that it was concerned:-

... with operating on unknowns using all the arithmetical tools, in the same way as the arithmetician operates on the known.

Omar Khayyam (born 1048) gave a complete classification of cubic equations with geometric solutions found by means of intersecting conic sections. Khayyam also wrote that he hoped to give a full description of the algebraic solution of cubic equations in a later work [18]:-

If the opportunity arises and I can succeed, I shall give all these fourteen forms with all their branches and cases, and how to distinguish whatever is possible or impossible so that a paper, containing elements which are greatly useful in this art will be prepared.

Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi (born 1135), although almost exactly the same age as al-Samawal, does not follow the general development that came through al-Karaji's school of algebra but rather follows Khayyam's application of algebra to geometry. He wrote a treatise on cubic equations, which [11]:-

... represents an essential contribution to another algebra which aimed to study curves by means of equations, thus inaugurating the beginning of algebraic geometry.

Let us give other examples of the development of Arabic mathematics. Returning to the House of Wisdom in Baghdad in the 9th century, one mathematician who was educated there by the Banu Musa brothers was Thabit ibn Qurra (born 836). He made many contributions to mathematics, but let us consider for the moment consider his contributions to number theory. He discovered a beautiful theorem which allowed pairs of amicable numbers to be found, that is two numbers such that each is the sum of the proper divisors of the other. Al-Baghdadi (born 980) looked at a slight variant of Thabit ibn Qurra's theorem, while al-Haytham (born 965) seems to have been the first to attempt to classify all even perfect numbers (numbers equal to the sum of their proper divisors) as those of the form 2k-1(2k - 1) where 2k - 1 is prime.

Al-Haytham, is also the first person that we know to state Wilson's theorem, namely that if p is prime then 1+(p-1)! is divisible by p. It is unclear whether he knew how to prove this result. It is called Wilson's theorem because of a comment made by Waring in 1770 that John Wilson had noticed the result. There is no evidence that John Wilson knew how to prove it and most certainly Waring did not. Lagrange gave the first proof in 1771 and it should be noticed that it is more than 750 years after al-Haytham before number theory surpasses this achievement of Arabic mathematics.

Continuing the story of amicable numbers, from which we have taken a diversion, it is worth noting that they play a large role in Arabic mathematics. Al-Farisi (born 1260) gave a new proof of Thabit ibn Qurra's theorem, introducing important new ideas concerning factorisation and combinatorial methods. He also gave the pair of amicable numbers 17296, 18416 which have been attributed to Euler, but we know that these were known earlier than al-Farisi, perhaps even by Thabit ibn Qurra himself. Although outside our time range for Arabic mathematics in this article, it is worth noting that in the 17th century the Arabic mathematician Mohammed Baqir Yazdi gave the pair of amicable number 9,363,584 and 9,437,056 still many years before Euler's contribution.

Let us turn to the different systems of counting which were is use around the 10th century in Arabic countries. There were three different types of arithmetic used around this period and, by the end of the 10th century, authors such as al-Baghdadi were writing texts comparing the three systems.

1. Finger-reckoning arithmetic.
This system derived from counting on the fingers with the numerals written entirely in words; this finger-reckoning arithmetic was the system used by the business community. Mathematicians such as Abu'l-Wafa (born 940) wrote several treatises using this system. Abu'l-Wafa himself was an expert in the use of Indian numerals but these:-

... did not find application in business circles and among the population of the Eastern Caliphate for a long time.

Hence he wrote his text using finger-reckoning arithmetic since this was the system used by the business community.

2. Sexagesimal system.
The second of the three systems was the sexagesimal system, with numerals denoted by letters of the Arabic alphabet. It came originally from the Babylonians and was most frequently used by the Arabic mathematicians in astronomical work.

3. Indian numeral system.
The third system was the arithmetic of the Indian numerals and fractions with the decimal place-value system. The numerals used were taken over from India, but there was not a standard set of symbols. Different parts of the Arabic world used slightly different forms of the numerals. At first the Indian methods were used by the Arabs with a dust board. A dust board was needed because the methods required the moving of numbers around in the calculation and rubbing some out as the calculation proceeded. The dust board allowed this to be done in the same sort of way that one can use a blackboard, chalk and a blackboard eraser. However, al-Uqlidisi (born 920) showed how to modify the methods for pen and paper use. Al-Baghdadi also contributed to improvements in the decimal system.

It was this third system of calculating which allowed most of the advances in numerical methods by the Arabs. It allowed the extraction of roots by mathematicians such as Abu'l-Wafa and Omar Khayyam (born 1048). The discovery of the binomial theorem for integer exponents by al-Karaji (born 953) was a major factor in the development of numerical analysis based on the decimal system. Al-Kashi (born1380) contributed to the development of decimal fractions not only for approximating algebraic numbers, but also for real numbers such as p. His contribution to decimal fractions is so major that for many years he was considered as their inventor. Although not the first to do so, al-Kashi gave an algorithm for calculating nth roots which is a special case of the methods given many centuries later by Ruffini and Horner.

Although the Arabic mathematicians are most famed for their work on algebra, number theory and number systems, they also made considerable contributions to geometry, trigonometry and mathematical astronomy. Ibrahim ibn Sinan (born 908), who introduced a method of integration more general than that of Archimedes, and al-Quhi (born 940) were leading figures in a revival and continuation of Greek higher geometry in the Islamic world. These mathematicians, and in particular al-Haytham, studied optics and investigated the optical properties of mirrors made from conic sections. Omar Khayyam combined the use of trigonometry and approximation theory to provide methods of solving algebraic equations by geometrical means.

Astronomy, time-keeping and geography provided other motivations for geometrical and trigonometrical research. For example Ibrahim ibn Sinan and his grandfather Thabit ibn Qurra both studied curves required in the construction of sundials. Abu'l-Wafa and Abu Nasr Mansur both applied spherical geometry to astronomy and also used formulas involving sin and tan. Al-Biruni (born 973) used the sin formula in both astronomy and in the calculation of longitudes and latitudes of many cities. Again both astronomy and geography motivated al-Biruni's extensive studies of projecting a hemisphere onto the plane.

Thabit ibn Qurra undertook both theoretical and observational work in astronomy. Al-Battani (born 850) made accurate observations which allowed him to improve on Ptolemy's data for the sun and the moon. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (born 1201), like many other Arabic mathematicians, based his theoretical astronomy on Ptolemy's work but al-Tusi made the most significant development of Ptolemy's model of the planetary system up to the development of the heliocentric model in the time of Copernicus.

Many of the Arabic mathematicians produced tables of trigonometric functions as part of their studies of astronomy. These include Ulugh Beg (born 1393) and al-Kashi. The construction of astronomical instruments such as the astrolabe was also a speciality of the Arabs. Al-Mahani used an astrolabe while Ahmed (born 835), al-Khazin (born 900), Ibrahim ibn Sinan, al-Quhi, Abu Nasr Mansur (born 965), al-Biruni, and others, all wrote important treatises on the astrolabe. Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi (born 1201) invented the linear astrolabe. The importance of the Arabic mathematicians in the development of the astrolabe is described in [17]:-

The astrolabe, whose mathematical theory is based on the stereographic projection of the sphere, was invented in late antiquity, but its extensive development in Islam made it the pocket watch of the medievals. In its original form, it required a different plate of horizon coordinates for each latitude, but in the 11th century the Spanish Muslim astronomer az-Zarqallu invented a single plate that worked for all latitudes. Slightly earlier, astronomers in the East had experimented with plane projections of the sphere, and al-Biruni invented such a projection that could be used to produce a map of a hemisphere. The culminating masterpiece was the astrolabe of the Syrian Ibn ash-Shatir (1305-75), a mathematical tool that could be used to solve all the standard problems of spherical astronomy in five different ways.

Posted by: Ned Lora at January 16, 2004 at 02:44 PM


The Roots of European Civilization


©1995-2000† Dean Derhak


When one thinks of European culture, one of the first things that may come to mind is
the renaissance. Many of the roots of European culture can be traced back to that
glorious time of art, science, commerce and architecture. But do most people know
that long before the renaissance, during the so-called dark ages of Europe, there was
a place of humanistic beauty in Muslim Spain? Not only was it artistic, scientific
and commercial, but also exhibited incredible tolerance, imagination, poetry and
literature. Moors, as the Spaniards call the Muslims, ruled Spain for nearly 700
years, beginning in the early eigth century. It is increasingly being acknowledged
now, though reluctantly, that it was this civilization that enlightened Europe and
brought it out of the dark ages to usher in the great European renaissance of the
14th and 15th centuries. Many of the cultural and intellectual influences of that
civilization still live with us today.


Way back during the eighth century, Europe was still knee-deep in the Medieval
period. That's not the only thing they were knee-deep in. In his book, "The Day The
Universe Changed," the historian James Burke describes how the typical European
townspeople lived:


The inhabitants threw all their refuse into the drains in the center of the
narrow, unpaved streets. The stench must have been overwhelming, though it
appears to have gone virtually unnoticed. Mixed with excrement and urine would
be the soiled reeds and straw used to cover the dirt floors of their shacks and
huts. (p. 32)



This squalid society was organized under a feudal system and had little that
would resemble a commercial economy. Along with other restrictions, the Church
forbade the lending of money - which didn't help get things booming much.
"Anti-Semitism, previously rare, began to increase. Money lending, which was
forbidden by the Church, was permitted under Jewish law." (Burke, 1985, p. 32)
Jews worked to develop a currency although they were heavily persecuted for it.
Medieval Europe was a miserable lot, almost entirely illiterate, superstitious,
barbaric, savage and filthy.


During this same time, the Arabs entered
Europe from the South. ABD AL-RAHMAN I, a survivor of a family of caliphs of the Arab
empire with its capital in Damascus, reached Spain in the mid-700's. He became the
first Caliph of Al-Andalus, the Muslim part of Spain, which occupied most of the
Iberian Peninsula. He also set up the UMAYYAD Dynasty that ruled Al-Andalus for over
three-hundred years. (Grolier, History of Spain). Al Andalus means, "the land of the
vandals," from which comes the modern name Andalusia.





At first, the land resembled the rest of
Europe in all its squalor. But within two-hundred years, the Arabs had transformed
Al-Andalus into a bastion of culture, commerce and beauty. "Irrigation technology
imported from Syria and Mesopotamia turned the dry plains... into an agricultural
cornucopia. Olives had always grown there. The Arabs added pomegranates, oranges,
lemons, aubergines, artichokes, cumin, coriander, bananas, almonds, pams, henna,
woad, madder, saffron, sugar-cane, cotton, wheat, figs, grapes, peaches, apricots and
rice, thus introducing these fruits and staples for the first time to Europe."
(Burke, 1985, p. 37). They introduced the technique of distillation, including the art of distilling flowers and making scents from them, techniques that
would later go north across the Pyranees into France and result in that country's
"French Perfumes" that the world savours today.


Both the Romanesque as well as the Gothic architectural styles borrow heavily from Arab/Islamic styles in the shape of the ribbed
vaultings, flying buttresses and pointed arches are derived from the Arab-Islamic
architectural styles introduced by the Arabs in Spain, Sicily and southern Italy.

Another important invention that was introduced by them was soap, which was something unknown to the rest of europe.


By the beginning of the ninth century, Muslim Spain was the gem of Europe with its
capital city, Cordova. With the establishment of Abdurrahman III - "the great
caliphate of Cordova" - came the golden age of Al-Andalus. Cordova, in southern
Spain, was the intellectual and cultural center of Europe.


At a time when London was a tiny mud-hut
village that "could not boast of a single streetlamp" (Digest, 1973, p. 622), in
Cordova "there were half a million inhabitants, living in 113,000 houses, villas and
palaces. There were 700 mosques, churches and synagogues and 300 public baths spread
throughout the city and its twenty-one suburbs. The streets were paved and lit with
hundereds of shops and cafes (an arabic word) lining the streets." (Burke, 1985, p.
38) The houses had marble balconies for summer and hot-air ducts under the mosaic
floors for the winter. They were adorned with gardens with artificial fountains and
orchards". (Digest, 1973, p. 622) "Paper, a material still unknown to Europe, was
everywhere. There were scores of bookshops and more than seventy libraries in
al-andalus." (Burke, 1985, p. 38).

In his book titled, "Spain In The Modern World," James Cleuge explains the
significance of Cordova for Medieval Europe:


"For there was nothing like it, at that epoch, in the rest of Europe. The best
minds in that continent looked to Muslim Spain for everything which most
clearly differentiates a human being from a tiger." (Cleugh, 1953, p. 70)


During the end of the first millennium, Muslim Cordova was the intellectual well from
which European humanity came to drink. Students from France and England traveled
there to sit at the feet of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars; to learn
philosophy, science, medicine and mathematics (Digest, 1973, p. 622). In the great
library of Cordova alone, there were some 600,000 manuscripts (Burke, 1978, p. 122).


This rich and sophisticated society took
a tolerant view towards other faiths. Tolerance was unheard of in the rest of Europe.
But in Muslim Spain, "thousands of Jews and Christians lived in peace and harmony
with their Muslim overlords. The fact that the Grand Vizier (prime minister) of the
Caliph Abdurrehman III was a Jew speaks volumes for the tolerance of the Spanish
Muslims" (Burke, 1985, p. 38) The society had a literary rather than a religious
base. Economically, their prosperity was unparalleled for centuries. The aristocracy
promoted private land ownership and encouraged Jews in banking. There was little or
no Muslim prostelyting. Instead, non-believers (adult males) simply paid an extra tax
but were exempt from military service.


†"Their society had become too sophisticated to be fanatical. Christians and Moslems
and Jews lived, worked and studied side by side and even fought, not each other, but
other mixed communities." (Cleugh, 1953, p. 71)


Unfortunately, this period of intellectual and economic prosperity began to decline.
Shifting away from the rule of law, there began to be internal rifts in the Arab
power structure. Muslim harmony began to break up into warring factions. Finally, the
caliphs were eliminated and Cordova fell to rival Arab forces. "In 1013, the great
library in Cordova was destroyed by Arab Mercenaries. True to their Islamic
traditions however, the new rulers permitted the books to be dispersed, together with
the Cordovan scholars, to the capital towns of small emirates." (Burke, 1985, p. 40)
The intellectual properties of the once great Al-Andalus was now divided amongst
small towns and city states.


As the Moors built mini-alliances and fought amongst themselves, the Christians to
the North were doing just the opposite. In Northern Spain, the various Christian
kingdoms united to expel the Muslims from the European continent. (Grolier, History
of Spain) This set the stage for the final act of the Medieval period.


(Embedded image moved to file: pic12045.jpg)In another of James Burke's works titled
"Connections," he describes how the Muslims thawed out Europe from the Dark Ages.
"But the event that must have done more for the intellectual and scientific revival
of Europe was the fall of Toledo in Spain to the Christians, in 1105." In Toledo the
Arabs had huge libraries containing the lost (to Christian Europe) works of the
Greeks and Romans along with immense works on Arab philosophy and other scientific
and mathematical works. The Muslim libraries were opened, revealing a store of
classics and Arab works that staggered Christian Europeans." (Burke, 1978, p. 123)



The intellectual plunder of Toledo brought the church based scholars of northern
Europe like moths to a candle. The Christians set up a giant translation program in
Toledo. Using the Arabized Jews as interpreters, they translated the Arabic books
into Latin. "The intellectual community which the northern scholars found in Spain
was so far superior to what they had at home that it left a lasting jealousy of Arab
culture, which was to color Western opinions for centuries" (Burke, 1985, p. 41)


"The subjects covered by the Muslim texts included medicine, astrology, astronomy,
pharmacology, psychology, physiology, zoology, biology, botany, mineralogy, optics,
chemistry, physics, mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, music, meteorology,
geography, mechanics, hydrostatics, navigation and history." (Burke, 1985, p. 42)
These works alone however, didn't kindle the fire that would lead to the renaissance.
They added to Europe's knowledge, but much of it was unappreciated without a change
in the way Europeans viewed the world.


Remember, Medieval Europe was superstitious and irrational. "What caused the
intellectual bombshell to explode, however, was the philosophy that came with (the
books). This included Aristotle's system of nature and the logic of argument."
(Burke, 1985, p. 42) Found among the works were Arab philosophers' commentaries of
Aristotle's views as well as several Arabic texts such as Ibn-Rush'd (Averroes) works
on the need for the separation between faith and reason. This "shocked the West by
giving religion and philosophy equal status as systems for explaining the cosmos.
Initially, the Church reacted by ordering the burning of Averroes books. In time
however, this questioning and the use of logic revolutionized the definition of truth
and sparked the renaissance" (Burke, 1985, p.42).


The translation project continued as each Moorish haven fell to the Christians. In
1492, the same year Columbus discovered the New World, Granada, the last Muslim
enclave, was taken. The new captors of the old knowledge were not inheritors of its
wisdom as well. Sadly, all Jews and Muslims that would not abandon their beliefs and
convert to christianity were either killed or exiled (Grolier, History of Spain).
Thus ended an epoch of tolerance and all that would remain of the Muslims would be
their books, their architecture and their musical instruments.

Much of what we are today can find it's roots in the once great Muslim cultures of
Spain and the Middle East. It is fascinating to realize just how much Europe learned
from the Muslim texts and even greater to see how much of that knowledge has still
endured. Because of the flood of new knowledge, the first Universities started to
appear in Europe; Universities modelled on the Muslim Universities of Spain. College
and University degrees of England and France were structured along lines developed
much earlier in the 8th and 9th centuries by the Arabs where they taught geography
using globes while the Church was still insisting that the earth was flat ! (Burke,
1985, p. 48). Directly from the Arabs came the numer system we use today for counting
. Even the concept of Zero (an Arabic word) and fractions came from the Arabic
translations since the Roman numeral system did not have these (Castillo & Bond,
1987, p. 27) .

Lets review just one example of the huge Arab scholarship that came to Christian
Europe during this era. In his 19th century book called "The intellectual rise of
Europe", John William Draper discusses the works of Ibn-al-haitem, the Arab-Muslim
scholar known as the "Father of Optics".

"At the time when the Muslim influences in Spain began to exert a pressure on the
Italian Church system, there were several scientific writers, fragments of whose
works have descended to us. As an architect may judge the skill of ancient Egyptian
art from a study of the Pyramids, so from these relics of Muslim learning we may
demonstrate the intellectual state of the Muslim people during Islam's Golden Age,
though much of their work has been lost and more has been purposely destroyed. Among
such writers is Ibn-al-Haitem; his birth date was about A.D. 975. It appears that he
resided both in Spain and in Egypt, but the details of his biography are very
confused. Through his optical works, which have been translated into Latin, he is
best known to Europe. He was the first to correct the Greek misconception as to the
nature of vision, showing that the rays of light come from external objects to the
eye, and do not issue forth from the eye and impinge on external things, as, up to
his time, had been supposed."

"His explanation depends not only upon anatomical investigation but upon geometrical
discussion as well. He determines that the retina is the seat of vision, and that
impressions made by light upon it are conveyed along the optic nerve to the brain.
With clarity he explains why we see single when we use both eyes; "because of the
formation of the visual images on symmetrical portions of the two retinas".
Ibn-al-Haitem further shows us that our sense of sight is by no means a reliable
guide, and that there are illusions arising when rays of light travel through space,
suffering refraction or reflection."

"It is in the discussion of one of these physical problems that his scientific
greatness truly shines forth. He is perfectly aware that the atmosphere decreases in
density with increase of height; and from that analysis, demonstrates that a ray of
light, entering it obliquely, follows a curvilinear path which is concaved toward the
earth; and that, since the mind refers the position of an object to the direction in
which the ray of light from it enters the eye, the result must be an illusion with
respect to the heavenly bodies; they appear to us, to use the Arabic term, nearer to
the "zenith" than they actually are, and not in their true place. We see them in the
direction of the tangent to the curve of refraction as it reaches the eye. Hence, he
shows that we actually see the stars, and the sun, and the moon before they have
actually risen and after they have set a wonderful illusion. He shows that in its
passage through the air, the curvature of a ray increases with the increasing
density, and that its path does not depend upon vapors that happen to be present, but
on the variations of density in the medium. To this refraction he imputes the
twinkling of the stars. The apparent increase in the size of the moon and the sun,
when they are near the horizon, he refers to a mental deception caused by refraction.
He shows that the effect of refraction is to shorten the duration of night and
darkness by prolonging the visibility of the sun, and considering the reflecting
action of the air, he deduces the beautiful explanation of the nature of twilight-the
light that we perceive before the rising and after the setting of the sun. With
extraordinary acuteness, he applies the principles with which he is dealing to the
determination of the height of the atmosphere, deciding that its limit is nearly 58.5
miles."

"All this is very grand. Shall we compare it with the contempory monk-miracles and
monkish philosophy of Europe of the 12th century? Nor perhaps does his merit end
here. If the "Book of the Balance of Wisdom", offers us evidence of a singular
clearness in mechanical conception for which we should scarcely have been prepared.
In that book is also plainly set forth the connection between the weight of the
atmosphere and its increasing density. The weight of the atmosphere was therefore
understood well before Torricelli. He shows that a body will weigh differently in a
rare and in a dense atmosphere; that its loss of weight will be greater in proportion
as the air is more dense. He considers the force with which plunged bodies will rise
through heavier media in which they are immersed, and discusses the submergence of
floating bodies, as ships upon the sea. He understands the doctrine of the centre of
gravity. He applies it to the investigation of balances and steelyards, showing the
relations between the centre of gravity and the centre of suspension; when those
instruments will be stationary and when they will vibrate. He recognizes gravity as a
force; asserts that it diminishes with the distance; but falls into the mistake that
the decrease is directly propotional to its distance and not as its square. He
considers gravity as terrestrial, but fails to perceive that it is universal (that
was reserved for Newton, who lived over 700 years later!)."

"He knows correctly the relation between the velocities, spaces, and times of falling
bodies, and has very distinct ideas of capillary attraction. He improves the
construction of that old Alexandrian invention, the hydrometer. The determinations
of the densities of bodies, as given by Ibn-al-Haitem, approach very closely to our
own; in the case of mercury they are even more exact than some of those of the last
century. Though more than seven centuries part him from our times, the evolutionists
of this age may accept him as their compeer, since he received and defended the
doctrine, now forcing its way, of the progressive development of life from simple
mineral forms, onto more complex plants, then animal forms, monkeys and finally
humans !. He upheld the affirmation of those who said that man, in his progress, has
passed through a definite succession of states of development..."

Along with texts, Arabic music spread throughout Europe, giving us the keyboard, the
flute, the guitar and the concept of musical harmony. It's also fair to say that
renaissance architectural concepts came from the Moorish libraries and architectural
masterpieces of Muslim Spain and beyond. Mathematics and architecture explained in
the Arab texts along with Arab works on optics led to the perspective paintings of
the renaissance period (Burke, 1985 p. 72). The first lawyers began their craft using
the newly translated Arabic knowledge as their guide. Even the food utensils we use
today, including the culture of eating with the fork and knife, came from the dining
tables and kitchens of Cordoba and other Middle Eastern aristocrats! (Burke, 1985 p.
44) All of these examples show just some of the ways Europe was transformed by Muslim
high culture during Islam's Golden Age.


During the 13th-15th centuries, Christians continued to re-conquer Spain, leaving a
wake of death and destruction in their path. The books were spared, but Muslim
culture was destroyed and their civilization disintegrated. Ironically, it wasn't
primarily the strength of the Christians that defeated the Arabs but the disharmony
and infighting amongst the Muslims themselves. Like Greece and Rome that had
preceeded them, the Muslims of Al-Andalus and elsewhere, fell into moral decay and
wandered from the intellect and tolerance that had made them great.

It is now time to publicly and openly acknowledge that much of what the western world
is today can find significant roots in the once great Islamic Civilization of Spain
and not just in Greece and Rome.
©1995-2000† Dean Derhak

Posted by: Ned Lora at January 17, 2004 at 02:40 AM


The Roots of European Civilization


©1995-2000† Dean Derhak


When one thinks of European culture, one of the first things that may come to mind is
the renaissance. Many of the roots of European culture can be traced back to that
glorious time of art, science, commerce and architecture. But do most people know
that long before the renaissance, during the so-called dark ages of Europe, there was
a place of humanistic beauty in Muslim Spain? Not only was it artistic, scientific
and commercial, but also exhibited incredible tolerance, imagination, poetry and
literature. Moors, as the Spaniards call the Muslims, ruled Spain for nearly 700
years, beginning in the early eigth century. It is increasingly being acknowledged
now, though reluctantly, that it was this civilization that enlightened Europe and
brought it out of the dark ages to usher in the great European renaissance of the
14th and 15th centuries. Many of the cultural and intellectual influences of that
civilization still live with us today.


Way back during the eighth century, Europe was still knee-deep in the Medieval
period. That's not the only thing they were knee-deep in. In his book, "The Day The
Universe Changed," the historian James Burke describes how the typical European
townspeople lived:


The inhabitants threw all their refuse into the drains in the center of the
narrow, unpaved streets. The stench must have been overwhelming, though it
appears to have gone virtually unnoticed. Mixed with excrement and urine would
be the soiled reeds and straw used to cover the dirt floors of their shacks and
huts. (p. 32)



This squalid society was organized under a feudal system and had little that
would resemble a commercial economy. Along with other restrictions, the Church
forbade the lending of money - which didn't help get things booming much.
"Anti-Semitism, previously rare, began to increase. Money lending, which was
forbidden by the Church, was permitted under Jewish law." (Burke, 1985, p. 32)
Jews worked to develop a currency although they were heavily persecuted for it.
Medieval Europe was a miserable lot, almost entirely illiterate, superstitious,
barbaric, savage and filthy.


During this same time, the Arabs entered
Europe from the South. ABD AL-RAHMAN I, a survivor of a family of caliphs of the Arab
empire with its capital in Damascus, reached Spain in the mid-700's. He became the
first Caliph of Al-Andalus, the Muslim part of Spain, which occupied most of the
Iberian Peninsula. He also set up the UMAYYAD Dynasty that ruled Al-Andalus for over
three-hundred years. (Grolier, History of Spain). Al Andalus means, "the land of the
vandals," from which comes the modern name Andalusia.





At first, the land resembled the rest of
Europe in all its squalor. But within two-hundred years, the Arabs had transformed
Al-Andalus into a bastion of culture, commerce and beauty. "Irrigation technology
imported from Syria and Mesopotamia turned the dry plains... into an agricultural
cornucopia. Olives had always grown there. The Arabs added pomegranates, oranges,
lemons, aubergines, artichokes, cumin, coriander, bananas, almonds, pams, henna,
woad, madder, saffron, sugar-cane, cotton, wheat, figs, grapes, peaches, apricots and
rice, thus introducing these fruits and staples for the first time to Europe."
(Burke, 1985, p. 37). They introduced the technique of distillation, including the art of distilling flowers and making scents from them, techniques that
would later go north across the Pyranees into France and result in that country's
"French Perfumes" that the world savours today.


Both the Romanesque as well as the Gothic architectural styles borrow heavily from Arab/Islamic styles in the shape of the ribbed
vaultings, flying buttresses and pointed arches are derived from the Arab-Islamic
architectural styles introduced by the Arabs in Spain, Sicily and southern Italy.

Another important invention that was introduced by them was soap, which was something unknown to the rest of europe.


By the beginning of the ninth century, Muslim Spain was the gem of Europe with its
capital city, Cordova. With the establishment of Abdurrahman III - "the great
caliphate of Cordova" - came the golden age of Al-Andalus. Cordova, in southern
Spain, was the intellectual and cultural center of Europe.


At a time when London was a tiny mud-hut
village that "could not boast of a single streetlamp" (Digest, 1973, p. 622), in
Cordova "there were half a million inhabitants, living in 113,000 houses, villas and
palaces. There were 700 mosques, churches and synagogues and 300 public baths spread
throughout the city and its twenty-one suburbs. The streets were paved and lit with
hundereds of shops and cafes (an arabic word) lining the streets." (Burke, 1985, p.
38) The houses had marble balconies for summer and hot-air ducts under the mosaic
floors for the winter. They were adorned with gardens with artificial fountains and
orchards". (Digest, 1973, p. 622) "Paper, a material still unknown to Europe, was
everywhere. There were scores of bookshops and more than seventy libraries in
al-andalus." (Burke, 1985, p. 38).

In his book titled, "Spain In The Modern World," James Cleuge explains the
significance of Cordova for Medieval Europe:


"For there was nothing like it, at that epoch, in the rest of Europe. The best
minds in that continent looked to Muslim Spain for everything which most
clearly differentiates a human being from a tiger." (Cleugh, 1953, p. 70)


During the end of the first millennium, Muslim Cordova was the intellectual well from
which European humanity came to drink. Students from France and England traveled
there to sit at the feet of Muslim, Christian and Jewish scholars; to learn
philosophy, science, medicine and mathematics (Digest, 1973, p. 622). In the great
library of Cordova alone, there were some 600,000 manuscripts (Burke, 1978, p. 122).


This rich and sophisticated society took
a tolerant view towards other faiths. Tolerance was unheard of in the rest of Europe.
But in Muslim Spain, "thousands of Jews and Christians lived in peace and harmony
with their Muslim overlords. The fact that the Grand Vizier (prime minister) of the
Caliph Abdurrehman III was a Jew speaks volumes for the tolerance of the Spanish
Muslims" (Burke, 1985, p. 38) The society had a literary rather than a religious
base. Economically, their prosperity was unparalleled for centuries. The aristocracy
promoted private land ownership and encouraged Jews in banking. There was little or
no Muslim prostelyting. Instead, non-believers (adult males) simply paid an extra tax
but were exempt from military service.


†"Their society had become too sophisticated to be fanatical. Christians and Moslems
and Jews lived, worked and studied side by side and even fought, not each other, but
other mixed communities." (Cleugh, 1953, p. 71)


Unfortunately, this period of intellectual and economic prosperity began to decline.
Shifting away from the rule of law, there began to be internal rifts in the Arab
power structure. Muslim harmony began to break up into warring factions. Finally, the
caliphs were eliminated and Cordova fell to rival Arab forces. "In 1013, the great
library in Cordova was destroyed by Arab Mercenaries. True to their Islamic
traditions however, the new rulers permitted the books to be dispersed, together with
the Cordovan scholars, to the capital towns of small emirates." (Burke, 1985, p. 40)
The intellectual properties of the once great Al-Andalus was now divided amongst
small towns and city states.


As the Moors built mini-alliances and fought amongst themselves, the Christians to
the North were doing just the opposite. In Northern Spain, the various Christian
kingdoms united to expel the Muslims from the European continent. (Grolier, History
of Spain) This set the stage for the final act of the Medieval period.


(Embedded image moved to file: pic12045.jpg)In another of James Burke's works titled
"Connections," he describes how the Muslims thawed out Europe from the Dark Ages.
"But the event that must have done more for the intellectual and scientific revival
of Europe was the fall of Toledo in Spain to the Christians, in 1105." In Toledo the
Arabs had huge libraries containing the lost (to Christian Europe) works of the
Greeks and Romans along with immense works on Arab philosophy and other scientific
and mathematical works. The Muslim libraries were opened, revealing a store of
classics and Arab works that staggered Christian Europeans." (Burke, 1978, p. 123)



The intellectual plunder of Toledo brought the church based scholars of northern
Europe like moths to a candle. The Christians set up a giant translation program in
Toledo. Using the Arabized Jews as interpreters, they translated the Arabic books
into Latin. "The intellectual community which the northern scholars found in Spain
was so far superior to what they had at home that it left a lasting jealousy of Arab
culture, which was to color Western opinions for centuries" (Burke, 1985, p. 41)


"The subjects covered by the Muslim texts included medicine, astrology, astronomy,
pharmacology, psychology, physiology, zoology, biology, botany, mineralogy, optics,
chemistry, physics, mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, music, meteorology,
geography, mechanics, hydrostatics, navigation and history." (Burke, 1985, p. 42)
These works alone however, didn't kindle the fire that would lead to the renaissance.
They added to Europe's knowledge, but much of it was unappreciated without a change
in the way Europeans viewed the world.


Remember, Medieval Europe was superstitious and irrational. "What caused the
intellectual bombshell to explode, however, was the philosophy that came with (the
books). This included Aristotle's system of nature and the logic of argument."
(Burke, 1985, p. 42) Found among the works were Arab philosophers' commentaries of
Aristotle's views as well as several Arabic texts such as Ibn-Rush'd (Averroes) works
on the need for the separation between faith and reason. This "shocked the West by
giving religion and philosophy equal status as systems for explaining the cosmos.
Initially, the Church reacted by ordering the burning of Averroes books. In time
however, this questioning and the use of logic revolutionized the definition of truth
and sparked the renaissance" (Burke, 1985, p.42).


The translation project continued as each Moorish haven fell to the Christians. In
1492, the same year Columbus discovered the New World, Granada, the last Muslim
enclave, was taken. The new captors of the old knowledge were not inheritors of its
wisdom as well. Sadly, all Jews and Muslims that would not abandon their beliefs and
convert to christianity were either killed or exiled (Grolier, History of Spain).
Thus ended an epoch of tolerance and all that would remain of the Muslims would be
their books, their architecture and their musical instruments.

Much of what we are today can find it's roots in the once great Muslim cultures of
Spain and the Middle East. It is fascinating to realize just how much Europe learned
from the Muslim texts and even greater to see how much of that knowledge has still
endured. Because of the flood of new knowledge, the first Universities started to
appear in Europe; Universities modelled on the Muslim Universities of Spain. College
and University degrees of England and France were structured along lines developed
much earlier in the 8th and 9th centuries by the Arabs where they taught geography
using globes while the Church was still insisting that the earth was flat ! (Burke,
1985, p. 48). Directly from the Arabs came the numer system we use today for counting
. Even the concept of Zero (an Arabic word) and fractions came from the Arabic
translations since the Roman numeral system did not have these (Castillo & Bond,
1987, p. 27) .

Lets review just one example of the huge Arab scholarship that came to Christian
Europe during this era. In his 19th century book called "The intellectual rise of
Europe", John William Draper discusses the works of Ibn-al-haitem, the Arab-Muslim
scholar known as the "Father of Optics".

"At the time when the Muslim influences in Spain began to exert a pressure on the
Italian Church system, there were several scientific writers, fragments of whose
works have descended to us. As an architect may judge the skill of ancient Egyptian
art from a study of the Pyramids, so from these relics of Muslim learning we may
demonstrate the intellectual state of the Muslim people during Islam's Golden Age,
though much of their work has been lost and more has been purposely destroyed. Among
such writers is Ibn-al-Haitem; his birth date was about A.D. 975. It appears that he
resided both in Spain and in Egypt, but the details of his biography are very
confused. Through his optical works, which have been translated into Latin, he is
best known to Europe. He was the first to correct the Greek misconception as to the
nature of vision, showing that the rays of light come from external objects to the
eye, and do not issue forth from the eye and impinge on external things, as, up to
his time, had been supposed."

"His explanation depends not only upon anatomical investigation but upon geometrical
discussion as well. He determines that the retina is the seat of vision, and that
impressions made by light upon it are conveyed along the optic nerve to the brain.
With clarity he explains why we see single when we use both eyes; "because of the
formation of the visual images on symmetrical portions of the two retinas".
Ibn-al-Haitem further shows us that our sense of sight is by no means a reliable
guide, and that there are illusions arising when rays of light travel through space,
suffering refraction or reflection."

"It is in the discussion of one of these physical problems that his scientific
greatness truly shines forth. He is perfectly aware that the atmosphere decreases in
density with increase of height; and from that analysis, demonstrates that a ray of
light, entering it obliquely, follows a curvilinear path which is concaved toward the
earth; and that, since the mind refers the position of an object to the direction in
which the ray of light from it enters the eye, the result must be an illusion with
respect to the heavenly bodies; they appear to us, to use the Arabic term, nearer to
the "zenith" than they actually are, and not in their true place. We see them in the
direction of the tangent to the curve of refraction as it reaches the eye. Hence, he
shows that we actually see the stars, and the sun, and the moon before they have
actually risen and after they have set a wonderful illusion. He shows that in its
passage through the air, the curvature of a ray increases with the increasing
density, and that its path does not depend upon vapors that happen to be present, but
on the variations of density in the medium. To this refraction he imputes the
twinkling of the stars. The apparent increase in the size of the moon and the sun,
when they are near the horizon, he refers to a mental deception caused by refraction.
He shows that the effect of refraction is to shorten the duration of night and
darkness by prolonging the visibility of the sun, and considering the reflecting
action of the air, he deduces the beautiful explanation of the nature of twilight-the
light that we perceive before the rising and after the setting of the sun. With
extraordinary acuteness, he applies the principles with which he is dealing to the
determination of the height of the atmosphere, deciding that its limit is nearly 58.5
miles."

"All this is very grand. Shall we compare it with the contempory monk-miracles and
monkish philosophy of Europe of the 12th century? Nor perhaps does his merit end
here. If the "Book of the Balance of Wisdom", offers us evidence of a singular
clearness in mechanical conception for which we should scarcely have been prepared.
In that book is also plainly set forth the connection between the weight of the
atmosphere and its increasing density. The weight of the atmosphere was therefore
understood well before Torricelli. He shows that a body will weigh differently in a
rare and in a dense atmosphere; that its loss of weight will be greater in proportion
as the air is more dense. He considers the force with which plunged bodies will rise
through heavier media in which they are immersed, and discusses the submergence of
floating bodies, as ships upon the sea. He understands the doctrine of the centre of
gravity. He applies it to the investigation of balances and steelyards, showing the
relations between the centre of gravity and the centre of suspension; when those
instruments will be stationary and when they will vibrate. He recognizes gravity as a
force; asserts that it diminishes with the distance; but falls into the mistake that
the decrease is directly propotional to its distance and not as its square. He
considers gravity as terrestrial, but fails to perceive that it is universal (that
was reserved for Newton, who lived over 700 years later!)."

"He knows correctly the relation between the velocities, spaces, and times of falling
bodies, and has very distinct ideas of capillary attraction. He improves the
construction of that old Alexandrian invention, the hydrometer. The determinations
of the densities of bodies, as given by Ibn-al-Haitem, approach very closely to our
own; in the case of mercury they are even more exact than some of those of the last
century. Though more than seven centuries part him from our times, the evolutionists
of this age may accept him as their compeer, since he received and defended the
doctrine, now forcing its way, of the progressive development of life from simple
mineral forms, onto more complex plants, then animal forms, monkeys and finally
humans !. He upheld the affirmation of those who said that man, in his progress, has
passed through a definite succession of states of development..."

Along with texts, Arabic music spread throughout Europe, giving us the keyboard, the
flute, the guitar and the concept of musical harmony. It's also fair to say that
renaissance architectural concepts came from the Moorish libraries and architectural
masterpieces of Muslim Spain and beyond. Mathematics and architecture explained in
the Arab texts along with Arab works on optics led to the perspective paintings of
the renaissance period (Burke, 1985 p. 72). The first lawyers began their craft using
the newly translated Arabic knowledge as their guide. Even the food utensils we use
today, including the culture of eating with the fork and knife, came from the dining
tables and kitchens of Cordoba and other Middle Eastern aristocrats! (Burke, 1985 p.
44) All of these examples show just some of the ways Europe was transformed by Muslim
high culture during Islam's Golden Age.


During the 13th-15th centuries, Christians continued to re-conquer Spain, leaving a
wake of death and destruction in their path. The books were spared, but Muslim
culture was destroyed and their civilization disintegrated. Ironically, it wasn't
primarily the strength of the Christians that defeated the Arabs but the disharmony
and infighting amongst the Muslims themselves. Like Greece and Rome that had
preceeded them, the Muslims of Al-Andalus and elsewhere, fell into moral decay and
wandered from the intellect and tolerance that had made them great.

It is now time to publicly and openly acknowledge that much of what the western world
is today can find significant roots in the once great Islamic Civilization of Spain
and not just in Greece and Rome.
©1995-2000† Dean Derhak

Posted by: Ned Lora at January 17, 2004 at 02:40 AM

You could have posted a fucking link instead of this gigantic post. What's the fucking matter with you, Ned?

Posted by: Constantine at January 18, 2004 at 02:43 PM

You could have posted a fucking link instead of this gigantic post. What's the fucking matter with you, Ned?

Posted by: Constantine at January 18, 2004 at 02:43 PM